What would you do if your child wanted to eat cookies for dinner?

United States
May 29, 2008 4:49pm CST
What would you do if your child or teen insisted on having sweets or cookies for dinner? Would you give in? Would you bargain with them? Of course, I'd say no if my child wanted to eat cookies for dinner. She's a very picky eater anyway, so I try to make sure she eats good food whenever I can. Cookies for dinner would be out. That's just me, though. And, I'm not judging anyone else for letting their child (or teen) have cookies. It's a parental choice. Most times, I simply restate the house rules about no sweets before dinner. And, certainly no sweets in place of dinner. That's totally out! But, I guess if she were a teen, she could make up her own mind. And, she'd want to make her own choices. So, I wouldn't have much say so in the matter. If your child insisted on sweets or treats before or instead of dinner, how would you handle the situation? Would you restate the house rules to them about sweets, like no cookies before dinner, etc.? Would you just assume that they were trying to misbehave to get your attention?
4 people like this
14 responses
@Shaun72 (15968)
• Palatka, Florida
29 May 08
My sister's step daughter. Tried that with me one day. My dad had taken her and my neice to church. When they were finished they came to me to watch them. Anyhow my sister's step daughter Emma told my dad to just get her a milk shake. I told her she really needed to get regular food like chicken nuggets or whatever she wanted. Of course she got mad at me. She was like 8 years old at the time. I was only looking out for her health though.She finally agreed on chicken nuggets.
• United States
29 May 08
You're such a great aunt! I would have done the same thing too, even if it wasn't my kid. I would have said, food first, then later snacks. Or, what you said. Cause I know the mama would have gotten mad at me. Or, mildly upset. You were totally right! They're lucky they have someone good like you, looking out for them. Be well!
• United States
30 May 08
The best solution I have ever found to this apparently common request is to have a "Dessert First" night. As a kid, weekends were special. We'd get home from school and do all of the weekend homework. Then the fun began. Friday night was "No Bath Night". My parents would let us skip a shower on Friday night if we wanted to. We usually did, but it kept us from whining about having to take them for the rest of the week. Saturdays were "Dessert First Night". We got to have our dessert first, but only if we promised to finish dinner after we got done with dessert. If we didn't finish dinner we didn't get to have dessert first the next week. Again, it kept us from trying to pull the dessert for dinner thing during the rest of the week. Whenever we'd try to get out of a bath or try to get dessert first my mom would just remind us that it was not the weekend, and that ended all argument. Giving in every once in a while made it easier to say no the rest of the time, and we grew up to be healthy people despite the occasional missed bath or dessert first dinner.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 May 08
99 percent of the time I would say no way. Sometimes though you have to just do something totally silly and off the wall. It keeps them guessing. I remember my father taking us out for breakfast once to a pie place. He told us pick two or three pieces of pie that we each really wanted . That would be breakfast he said. I was totally blown away that my exceedingly strict father came up with that idea. Then we actually did it. It was too fun!
@Hatley (164226)
• Garden Grove, California
29 May 08
how would I handle the situation? they would have to eat at least part of all the foods I served them first then they could have a cookie or sweet for dessert and it worked with my kids when they were' young a very long time ago. it was always no sweets before dinner and they never fussed about that. And I never asumed that my kids were trying to misbehave. I knew which was which.
@jashley1 (746)
• United States
29 May 08
I would definately let them know that cookies are not for dinner! No if's ands or buts about it! I've always taught my children to eat healthy and have restricted their sugar intake since they were born. So many people don't teach their children these things and I'm not saying it always leads to poorer health in the future, but definately a higher possibility of it or at least of more cavities! My children wouldn't even ask for cookies for dinner, but if they did, I would just have to reiterate that they first need to eat their dinner - meat, veggies, and milk, and then we can talk about cookies!
• Uruguay
30 May 08
INDEED. no if's or but's. Just no!
@gemini_rose (16192)
25 Jun 08
Mine have tried this a few times, wanting to just have something sweet to eat instead of something proper to eat. But I just compromise with them and say that if they eat a bit of their meal then I will let them have a little something, it usually works and they eat the whole meal. They are pretty good though and know that they will have something after their dinner so they usually just wait.
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
31 May 08
I have let my kids have dessert for dinner or before dinner on occasion. It is a rare occurance but I let them have a little fun every once in awhile. Kids are not going to be malnourished if they have sweets instead of dinner once or twice. I have had oreos for breakfast a couple of times. I have also eaten cake. Most of the time I eat pretty balanced meals...but sometimes I eat junk. I don't assume that my kids are misbehaving because they want cookies; anymore than I would be if that is what I wanted to eat.
@nanayangel (7862)
• Philippines
31 May 08
Hi there Beauty Queen! I won't allow it. It will be cookie after dinner or no cookie at all.
@sun2day (1063)
• Virgin Islands (U.S.)
30 May 08
Certainly not! I would not allow my child to eat cookies for dinner. There is no nutrition in that, and one (1) hour later he'll be crying to me for dinner. I would tell him I will prepare him something to eat and maybe after his dinner he will be allowed to have a cookie oe something of his choice.
@angelface23 (2497)
• United States
30 May 08
no way! No treat until after dinner. I will give Stephanie something sweet maybe after her lunch and then after dinner. She likes to try and get candy before bed too but this doesn't fly with me. I don't like her eating candy at all but my husband loves it so I can't really keep her away from it all together. She's out of her mind if she thinks we will ever let her substitute sweets for dinner!
@heleni0 (322)
30 May 08
I don't have kids myself, but my niece and nephew are no allowed to have treats until they've eaten their dinner. It's a nightmare with my niece, because she refuses to finish her dinner, and then when it's treat time she throws a tantrum when my newphew gets a treat and she doesn't, because she's "so hungry". So we tell her to finish her dinner and she refuses. Clearly not hungry enough then. Usually a few house later she'll give in and eat a sausage roll or a sandwich or something, and then she'll be allowed an ice lolly or a cookie. Still she'll say how it's not fair that she has to eat a sausage roll first and her brother doesn't, to which we always reply, "He ate his dinner!!!!"
@lingli_78 (12836)
• Australia
30 May 08
it is definitely a big NO for me... i don't have a child yet... but when i do have one, i will definitely forbid them to eat sweets or cookies for dinner... that is really very unhealthy... i will explain to them nicely that it is not healthy and i will tell them that they can have the treats AFTER dinner if they behave and eat properly during dinner... as long as they are staying in MY house, they have to follow MY rules... when they get older, they can choose for themselves what they want to eat AFTER they can earn their own money... take care and have a nice day...
@anawar (2406)
• United States
29 May 08
I raised my kids restricting their sugar intake. They learned to read cereal boxes for the amount of sugar. Anything over 12 grams was a negative. Any cookies around the house were the ones I made. They grew up on Super Healthy Cookies that were made with brown sugar, shredded apples and whole wheat flour. They didn't get to ask for cookies before dinner. We didn't have any!
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
29 May 08
I don't think my son has ever asked for cookies for dinner, or at least not that I remember. If he were to ask, I would just tell him that he could have one AFTER he ate dinner, not before. Then I would give him two options to choose between for dinner (unless I had already started cooking dinner). He gets to choose between two things for dinner at least 2-3 times a week anyway, though. It really does help us avoid fights over what he will and won't eat. If he tells me he doesn't want his chicken, I remind him that he picked chicken for dinner, and then he will usually happily eat another 2-3 bites.